Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg

Lead Economist, Farm Supply and Biofuels

Lead Economist of Grain and Farm Supply - CoBank Knowledge Exchange division

Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg is lead industry analyst for the farm supply, biofuels and agriculture technology sectors in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division. He brings more than 30 years of diverse experience spanning securities analysis, investment management and commercial banking.

Prior to joining CoBank, Mr. Zuckerberg served as a senior vice president and sector research manager for Wells Fargo in the firm’s Food and Agribusiness Industry Advisors Group, and previously held a similar role at Rabobank U.A. Before that, he conceived and founded Carlan Advisors LLC, an independent research, advisory and expert witness consulting firm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Zuckerberg was a senior equity analyst at Lazard Asset Management, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, Inc., and Smith Barney, Inc. (now Morgan Stanley).

Mr. Zuckerberg earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Florida and is a graduate of the Wharton’s General Management Program (GMP). He is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary AIF® and is in the process of completing a masters in law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Recent Reports


All Reports

The Slowdown-Resistant Economy
July 2023

Despite predictions for a slowdown, the U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. Jobs are plentiful, asset values are near all-time highs, and consumers are spending

It Is Time for Ag Co-ops to Pay the Insurance Piper
June 2023

Ag Co-ops to Pay the Insurance Piper

Adapting to a Slowing Economy
April 2023

Effects from higher interest rates are permeating rural industries

Ag Retailers Prepare to Navigate 3 Emerging Risks
March 2023

Grain and farm supply cooperatives have delivered tremendous value to their customers over the past three years, a period that featured extreme volatility in prices for grain, fertilizer and energy as well as unpredictable economic activity stemming from COVID and the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

2 Reasons Why Lower Fertilizer Prices Won’t Shift Spring Planting Decisions
February 2023

To the surprise of most observers, wholesale fertilizer prices and natural gas prices have been declining since last fall, both globally and in the United States. 

Inflation is Beginning to Loosen its Grip
January 2023

The war in Ukraine and inflation will remain the two biggest factors for commodity
markets in the first half of 2023. 

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2023
December 2022

The Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation, and an energy crisis joined the COVID-19 pandemic this year as major events defining the operating environment for U.S. companies. We can expect to feel the aftershocks in 2023. 

Vertical Farms Must Trim Costs, Hone Business Models to Achieve Profitability
November 2022

Although the concept of growing food indoors is not new, investment in growing crops indoors in vertically stacked layers has ballooned in recent years. The labor, health, and supply chain issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic has driven even more new consumer and investor interest.

The Quarterly: Inflation Abundance, Commodity Shortage
October 2022

Despite ongoing impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lingering supply chain
effects from the pandemic, the U.S. economy remains incredibly resilient.

Renewable Diesel Projected to Turbo Charge Biofuel Growth
September 2022

By producing fuel using sources with lower carbon intensity compared to traditional petroleum based products, the U.S. biofuels sector is well-positioned to play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

CoBank Quarterly: Clouds are Forming
July 2022

Fears of higher rates and weakening economic conditions
linger over the year’s second half.

How Co-ops Can Lead the Way for DIY On-Farm Broadband
May 2022

Although precision agriculture has been around for more than 25 years, the past decade has introduced advanced computing technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, connected devices, robotics, and automation.

Ukraine Sunflower Oil Just the Latest Chapter in Vegetable Oil Price Rally
May 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken up global agricultural markets, including vegetable oil. But some perspective is needed: Even before the war, global vegetable oil prices had appreciated sharply. Since 2020, vegetable oil prices are up 113% versus gains of 51% for soy meal and 71% for unprocessed oilseeds.

Ukraine Grain: Tight Stocks, Price Volatility Likely for Years
March 2022

Global grain markets have been managing through a period of extreme price volatility following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, a situation that has reignited the grain rally of 2020-21.

The Quarterly: Omicron Upends Supply Chain Recovery
January 2022

Against all hope for a better start to 2022, omicron has crashed the New Year’s party. Renewed supply chain disruptions are being felt throughout the economy, causing empty shelves again and threatening to fan the flames of inflation.

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2022
December 2021

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still in control of the economy.

Fertilizer Inflation Likely to Persist into Spring Planting
December 2021

U.S. crop farmers and the farm supply cooperatives serving them are facing operational anxiety heading into 2022, driven by high fuel prices, shortages of agrochemicals (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) due to COVID-related disruptions and, most importantly, the recent parabolic rise in fertilizer prices.

The Quarterly: Adapting to Persistent Supply Disruptions
October 2021

Businesses of all sizes and across most industries are wrestling with perhaps the worst supply chain bottlenecks to date

Precision Agronomy Services Will Factor Heavily in the Future of Ag Retailing
September 2021

Ag retailers, including farm supply cooperatives, are benefitting from crop farmers’ strong spending on inputs and agronomic services in a second year of above-average grain prices.

The Quarterly: A Long Tail—Pandemic After-Effects are Just Beginning
July 2021

The long-awaited period of pent-up, exuberant demand is here. And for all the benefits to businesses and consumers, bumps are unavoidable – labor shortages, price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about what a new steady-state economy will look like. They loom large, even as we celebrate a return to normalcy.

Feeding the Hungry Dragon: China Changes Buying Tactics in Volatile Phase of U.S. Grain Run
June 2021

China shook up the U.S. feed grain export market this past year when it nearly tripled its previous year’s purchase of soybeans, and made record purchases of sorghum and more recently, corn.

The Quarterly: We’re Not Going Back to Pre-COVID Conditions
April 2021

Anticipation of a return to normal is in the air. But for the economy and rural industries, there will be no going back to pre-COVID conditions.

Agronomy Outlook: A Time to Plant, a Time to Prosper
March 2021

U.S. farmers are in a sound financial position heading into spring 2021 given the cyclical turn in grain prices and robust government support, both of which have driven a rise in net farm income.

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports
February 2021

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

The Quarterly: New Year Optimism Confronts the Pandemic
January 2021

2021 has quickly altered the political and market landscape. And optimism, particularly about the second half of the year, is rising. But to get there, all of us must muddle through for a few months more.

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2021
December 2020

The speed of the economic recovery will largely hinge on the availability, dissemination and reach of COVID-19 vaccines, pushing the expected burst of pent-up consumer demand into the latter half of 2021, according to a comprehensive year-ahead outlook report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division.

Grain Elevator Outlook: Accelerated Merchandising Margins Today, Potential Volatility Tomorrow
December 2020

An explosive rally in grain prices – driven by a smaller-than-expected U.S. harvest, strong China export demand, dryness concerns due to La Niña, and resulting tight corn and soybean stocks – dramatically changed the complexion of the 2020-21 grain marketing season.

Field of Agronomic Dreams: Rethinking the Farm Supply Co-op to Drive Value
November 2020

Farm supply service cooperatives remain the dominant form of input distribution in North America. 

The Quarterly: The Fragile Recovery is About to be Tested
October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now impacted all four quarters of 2020, and seemingly every aspect of life and business. 

The Quarterly: Rural Industries Adapt to Coronavirus Reality
July 2020

Over the past four months, every rural industry has grappled with how to adjust its business to remain relevant and sustainable in the pandemic. Agricultural supply chains have been massively disrupted and lost revenue. Water and power suppliers have adapted as commercial and industrial customers went dark and demand shifted to residential customers. And the communications industry is seizing a moment when home broadband access has become vividly essential, to help expand access to everyone, everywhere.

Ethanol Sector Outlook: Readjustment Today, Rationalization Tomorrow
June 2020

The economic shock in spring 2020 resulting from COVID-19-led economic shutdowns was unprecedented, causing ethanol demand destruction. 

The Quarterly: Keeping Us Connected, Our Lights On, and Our Pantries Full
April 2020

The beginning of a new quarter finds us in unparalleled times – a pandemic ravaging the world, the U.S. economy in shutdown, millions of Americans out of work, and financial markets in turmoil. 

Spring 2020 Agronomy Outlook: Retailers Are Adequately Prepared to Ride Out the Storm
March 2020

According to an analysis of CoBank’s proprietary borrower database, ag retailers are on relatively firm footing as they prepare for spring following last year’s complicated agronomy season.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade Resolutions Boost Optimism for a New Year
December 2019

The fourth quarter is ending with much more optimism on trade and the economy compared to how it began. 

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2020
December 2019

The U.S. rural economy will continue to face headwinds in 2020 and is expected to underperform relative to the economy of urban America. 

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade Remains the Focus as Tariffs Take Toll on Agriculture
October 2019

Uncertainty over trade policy, weather and African Swine Fever dominated agricultural markets last quarter.